About the institute
The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity was established in November 2007. Director of the Department of Religious Diversity is Professor Dr. Peter van der Veer. Professor Dr. Steven Vertovec is Director of the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity.
The Institute is dedicated to the multi-disciplinary study of diversity in historical and contemporary societies, particularly concerning ethnic and religious forms and dynamics. Such work entails basic empirical research aimed at theoretical development.
Projects investigate multiple forms of diversity, how these have been shaped and defined, how they have been or could be governed, how different processes of inter-ethnic or inter-religious encounter unfold, how patterns and images of diversity change, and how relations between concepts of ethnicity and religion develop. Studies address migration-related contexts (in so-called migrant-sending, -transit and -receiving societies) as well as contexts long characterized by different kinds of diversity, such as in South Africa, the Balkans, India and Southeast Asia.